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Jonah·s Cross
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How often do we find ourselves lost; for me, more often than not. u have always been
told to lift my troubles to God, to allow Him to bear the burden. u was brought up to believe
that He died for us to remind us that we are never alone. Throughout our most difficult
moments, he stands beside us to help carry us to the other side of the mountain that stands in
our way. u respect that, but due to current events, u feel it is a fairy tale. ut is no different than
love, family, friendship etc. They are all made out to be this pretty picture that we hope to one
day paint ourselves, but soon grow to realize the picture is nothing more than splashes of black
and white, which create none other than a big mess of grey.

Too many times u have had hopes to acquire the perfect life; the perfect relationship, the
perfect family, etc. All these things which u have tried so desperately to achieve have let me
down. umperfections exist; u am living proof of that. My family is certainly not a TV sitcom
family, like the world so effortlessly tries to tell me it should be. College is in no way
whatsoever like u had expected from watching countless episodes of Boy Meets World; there is
no life-long friend/teacher that helps me with my life problems, no comic-relief brother, and
no friend quite as reliable as u had hoped. As for relationships, don·t even get me started. ut·s
one nutcase after another, you think u·d learn my lesson by now and just become a priest like
my mom had hoped me to be.

Me, a priest?! What in God·s name, makes my mom feel as if u could be a priest? To
simply take everything, all my burdens, troubles, and fears and lay them at the feet of the cross,
to leave it in God·s hands, it can·t be that simple? u mean, u hardly consider myself Catholic
anymore. u still have a strong foundation in faith and u pray every night and make the best
effort u can to attend church on Sunday·s, but on the other hand, u have done things that the
church community would completely be repulsed by. u have done my best to keep an open
mind towards others. u have befriended gays, u have tried drugs on a few occasions, u have lied,
u have cursed, and u have had sex before marriage. How can u even consider leading a church
as their priest?

u consider myself to be somewhat of an observer. Based on my observations, u have

strayed away from the Catholic religion and explored other religions in depth. The one u find
most fascinating is Buddhism. ´Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety
of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha
Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha ("the awakened one").µ After u had done a lot of self
reflecting, u realized that u would prefer not to define myself by any specific religion, because u
feel that by definition, it would be false. u would conform my beliefs to that of others and they
would no longer belong to me. My beliefs would simply be hand-me down beliefs from my
ancestors. u choose to believe what u do for my own specific reasons, not because u am told to
by some book, or some other person.

u·m sorry dear mother, but regretfully, u am not a Catholic priest, a missionary, a
worship leader, or even spreading the word of God for that matter. Rather u have been testing
it, doubting it, and pushing my faith to its limits. u have already broken a commandment by
doing so. Don·t get me wrong, u still have faith, and a bible next to my reading lamp on my
beside table, but am u going to shove it in other people·s faces? No, u am not. u feel that u have
my life and other people have theirs, who am u to tell them otherwise?
u am no saint, but a sinner. u always have been a sinner, since the moment u was born
into this world, u was brought up by sinners and u knew nothing other than sin and redemption
for my sins. u feel as if committing sin is all part of being human, you can thank Adam and Eve,
or you can own up to your own mistakes and just accept the inevitable. We are sinners given
the choice to change. However, sometimes we aren·t given the choice for it is forced upon us,
without the respect for our own intensions. This is where my story begins; u feel u was visited in
a dream by a messenger of God. Any normal person, would consider this to be just another
dream, however, u consider it to be a life-altering experience. u feel we all have had such
dreams, but do we dismiss them, or acknowledge them for their deeper meaning?
Öne night un April, a few days after my 18th birthday, u remained anxious and restless
for reasons u couldn·t explain. Dark and depressing thoughts crashed o·er me like an
unforgiving wave. u can·t explain as to why; all u know is, to this day, u am still haunted by a
nightmare, the nightmare rather, that changed my life. un this dream, u was called by a voice; u
would like to say it was God, but if it was, then it was not the white light praising God that u
was brought up to believe in, it was a vengeful God that had come to release his next flood on
my way of life.

The dream starts with me standing in what could resemble a graveyard, nothing
around me but fog, darkness, and two glowing eyes. The figure that had these eyes stepped
closer and closer until finally, he was inches away from my sweating face. He bore a stench
that reeked of sulfur, it engulfed my nostrils and u wanted to puke. The hair on his chin was
stained black, to the point it almost blended with the darkness of the sky. His eyes were like
mirrors, u could see myself within them, smaller and upside down cowering in fear before him.
He stood above me wrapped in a black cloak, with his long gray fingertips together as if he
were contemplating a great deal. After a few moments of deathly silence, a grin slowly crept
across his face, revealing sharp, pointed, yellow-stained teeth. As he spoke, smoke emerged
from his lips and wrapped around my face like a snake constricting its prey. His words rolled
off his fork tipped tongue like daggers straight into my ears, although he spoke in no more
than a faint whisper, it felt like blood curdling screams echoing endlessly.
´u have a plan for you.µ He croaked.
u could feel the pit of my stomach clench, u felt empty and almost hollow. Tears fell from my
eyes and stained my cheeks. u felt paralyzed, but u mustered up enough strength to grab some
dirt at my right hand side and throw it into his eyes. u screamed at the top of my lungs, but it
hurt, u felt as if u were a pregnant woman giving birth to my words.
´Go away!µ u screamed.

u felt out of breath, gasping for air, u tried to stand but u couldn·t even move so much as
an inch. As he laughed, more smoke poured from his lips and into my lungs. u was choking!
With both hands around my throat, u prayed in need of air. Water filled my eyes, u felt as if u
had just been sprayed with pepper gas, u could hardly see. A feeling of lightheadedness
consumed me, u felt as if u were falling. Naturally, u reached out my hand in hopes that
someone would reach back and save me, but who would save me? No one. u have already
pushed away all those that would. Sadness overtook my body. u was numb. A cold wind blew
and the smoke cleared. Önce again u could breathe! u felt strength fill my body and u was able
to stand. Without hesitation, u began to run. After running for what felt like miles, u realized u
had been running in place. u stopped running due to feeling as if u could collapse at any given
moment. Right as u was about to collapse, u felt the ground start to shake. All of the sudden, u
felt myself falling through the ground into a dark and hollow room.

All that u could see in this room was a mirror. u slowly approached it with utmost
caution. As u peered into the mysterious glass, u did not see my reflection, but the reflection of
another? ut·s Him! Stained yellow teeth, grey face covered in a black hood. . . My face grew
pale, the hair on my neck began to rise, my stomach felt weak and nauseous, u threw up blood
and watched it fall to the ground and splash my pants. My knees trembled and slowly u fell to
my knees in defeat. A tear fell from my eye and left my eyes feeling dried out. Despite the
sobbing, u attempted to utter a sound, but nothing came out. un shock, u grabbed hold of my
mouth, my mind was racing, ´u can·t speak!µ The figure looked down upon me in pity. All u
was left with was the distant memory of what u once called, ´My voice.µ Upon the ground, u
saw a stone; u lift the stone and hurled it at the mirror. The mirror shattered without hesitation
and the figure disappeared. My hands were caked with blood, my body was covered in scars,
and my eyes were filled with hurt, loss, and a brokenness you can·t explain with words.

Crying in pain, u fumbled for words, yet u couldn·t speak. Lost, u looked up to the sky; u
saw what looked like a crescent moon, but soon realized, it was no moon, but instead the
figure·s, yellow stained smile, mocking me! u was left there to die with nothing but his words
echoing in my mind,
´u have a plan for you.µ

Paranoid and anxious, my mind was racing. All u could do was crawl into a corner and
sit there with my arms wrapped around my knees. Suddenly, Flashes of dark images appeared
before my eyes, death, pain, suffering, no matter how much u attempted to close my eyes, the
images wouldn·t go away. u began to hum a tune u heard as a child in religious Ed.
´Jesus wants me for a sunbeam, to shine for Him each and every day. . .µ
Although u knew u had failed at being a sunbeam for Him, u couldn·t think of anything else to
do. u sat there and felt as if u were drowning in my sadness. All light had faded; my body felt as
if was decaying with the darkness.

All of the sudden a swift wind swept past me and u felt a hand grip my throat, and
thrust me back to earth·s surface. Had u been brought back from the dead? Had u risen from the
unforgiving grave? Questions consumed me that u could not answer. u felt hot and soon
realized u was covered with Hell·s fire. The fire turned blue and disappeared but it left a scar
upon my back. A small puddle had appeared that allowed me to see the reflection of the scar. A
poem was carved that read,

´Two bodies, one soul,

Separated at birth.
Öne born with the blessing of light
And the other with
The burden of darkness
You chose darkness!µ

Just then, the puddle revealed the figures face, he spoke to me as steam spread across the

´Don·t run from this, you chose this! ut·s the choices we make, not the chances we take that
determine our destiny. ut·s time you accept your destiny and embrace it without hesitation.
Your time has come.µ

u thrusted my stone cold, blood caked hands around his reflections throat, but he disappeared
as the ripples took into affect and u just found myself staring into an empty puddle. u felt
broken and couldn·t help but fall face first into the puddle. As the water crashed against my
face, u woke up.

With sweat running down my face and my cheeks drenched in tears, u just grabbed
hold of my pillow and held it close. u couldn·t explain just how terrified u truly was. What did
all of this mean? Was it only a dream, or was it a message given with a purpose? u couldn·t
think straight after that. Everywhere u·d go, u would hear those words ringing inside my head.
´u have a plan for you.µ
What was u supposed to make of it all? The fear of not knowing can drive a man mad.
u should not be questioning such things. We are called to accept and embrace what
comes our way, whether we wish to or not. ut is not our place to toil with destiny, it never was.
We are all woven into the tapestry of fate. We mustn·t argue with it. Hesitation causes
complication and that is just a waste of time. We may not see the picture we are woven into,
but we mustn·t doubt the creator. We as people are full of doubt and fear seeing the worst.
Though, even beneath the most horrid sights, something beautiful waits to be revealed.

At times, we forget that fact. un my opinion, that is the greatest sin of all. For instance,
Jesus· death upon the cross; how awful and terrible it must have been for Him to follow the
path His father had set for Him. The pain, the suffering, and the sacrifice he went through
simply to fulfill his destiny, must have been unfathomable. However, look at what became of it;
He did not die in vain. Because of his death, we are cleansed of our sins and we are given the
opportunity to redeem ourselves of our past mistakes and make a change. The decision of our
ancestors was destiny. Allowing Christ to come into our lives through free will could not have
happened without the cross! u feel this burden which u bear, is my cross. Önce u have carried
this cross long enough to fulfill my destiny and show my strength in Gods will and my own
faith, only then, shall u see something beautiful.

u regret to inform you, that at this present moment, u fear u am far from seeing a
beautiful sight. All that comes into view is strictly perpetual darkness. u fear u cannot escape it.
However, it is this particular fear that is the least of my worries. My greatest fear of all, is
knowing u am not meant to escape it. u was born into it for a reason. ut is that reason that u am
still trying to figure out.

´A hostage to my mind, a prisoner to my heart

Searching for an end, while lost at the start
Locked inside a cage, wishing to be free
u cannot escape this given destiny

Hands remain heavy, as u lift up this pen

To jot down thoughts in between now and then
The ink bleeds out emotion, sometimes the ink is red
No matter what is written, u won·t forget what was said,

u have a plan for you.µ

There it is again! Those horrid words persist to echo in my mind. At least give me some
kind of clue as to what it all means, please! This is literally killing me slowly. u fear u am driving
myself insane. This sickening fact, it bothers me so. Why is everything around me changing?
People u once knew have disappeared without so much as a trace, places u have been, are no
longer what they once were, they·re nothing more than dusty roads filled with broken
memories. When u look in the mirror, u see a distorted view that looks nothing like me. ut·s as if,
before now, u had been living in one big illusion.

u can·t stand seeing myself anymore. u don·t blame others for feeling the same. u feel
alone, and u should feel alone for that is where u brought myself to be. u have broken away from
all that once surrounded me and u have latched on to a new shore, one of which u should also
let go. u have to leave this life behind and let it die. This life of suffering is a part of me, it is
tattooed upon my aching back, and it refuses to set me free. u must let everything go. u can·t
fear change anymore. u must take the lesser of the two pains and fall into the pool of destiny
and let it take me where it wishes to flow.
un time, that·s all u can think about. un time, everything will settle in its right place, for
now, u am but one piece of a puzzle scattered across a table, lost in the image of chaos, but
somehow, u know that in the end, everything is meant to fit together. For now, u find myself
slaving over a desk, hacking away at a page with a pen held tightly in my grasp. Despite the
fact of being in the middle of writing, insomnia finally got to me, and u collapsed upon my desk
in a heavy sleep, with the pen still in my hand and the paper now glued to the side of my face.
As u lay there motionless, u began to drift into another dream. This dream put me right back
into the mindset of my first dream.

u found myself lying upon my bed with a dagger held close to my chest. u couldn·t find
the strength to close my eyes. unsomnia struck like an unforgiving blade, and left me with eyes
wide open and erupting with fear. A bitter cold swept into the room and a faint whisper crept
into my ears. u covered my ears hoping to block out the horrific sounds, but nothing could stop
them from breaking through my defenses. u held the blade with utmost intensity as u heard
footsteps enter the room. Closer and closer they came until finally the figure stood right before
me. Thinking it was the figure u had seen in my previous dream, u lifted my dagger and thrust
it into the figures gut and turned it to make sure he felt the blade take his life. Just as u
withdrew the blade from his body, lightning struck and revealed his face. ut was u!

The blade fell from my hand and hit the floor but it did not make a sound as it fell.
Everything was silent. u fell to my knees and allowed my head to collapse into my hands. ut was
at this point when u realized, ´u am dead.µ Everything u thought u was set out to do, it means
nothing, no more than a false hope, a lost dream; as of now, u no longer belong to myself, u
suppose, u never did; instead, u belong to the hands of fate. They shall form me with utmost
craft and with their God-like skills; they shall create me to their likeness. u have no control, u
never did have control; like everything else in this life, control was nothing more than an
illusion. u shall develop the necessary skills to do their will. u have no say in the matter. ut is
time to accept what lies ahead. u can try to fight it, but u shall fail. Ön this night, u was reborn.

u woke up with fear flooding my eyes. u couldn·t express with words what was racing
through my head. All u could do was grab the closest pen and scribble down what some people
refer to as poetry, but u call it, possessed writing- An art where, the heart and mind unite and
take over. No thought is required.

´u was brought to an end, another miserable moment

Where my dreams came crashing down
Upon me
u could see it now, clear as day
u was tossed and turned by the waves of his sea
u stood all alone with the abandoned day
But it was in this moment where
Everything changed.

u·ve been to Hell and back, u was lost and found

But without the journey, this heart
Wouldn·t make a sound.

Now u know the cost of His love,

And the pain in between
us more than enough.
u thought u·d give up, but u ain·t giving in
Cause now u can see the debt for that sin
So u·m standing up proud, with my dreams in sight
And a cross on my back as u run through the night

u·m guided by stars, and u·m guided by faith

u·m destined to live, and to do something great
Take me to where, u·m destined to go
u·ll fight you no more, for this u now know

You took hold of my heart, and of my hand

You showed me a darkness, in which u now understand
There·s more to this life, and more to this dream
Lord, You are my guide, so take hold of me

u·ll carry my cross and the scars that it brings

For every darkness u face, with angels u·ll sing
God is my strength, and his word is my will
Words are my gift and u·ve got pages to fill

u was given a story, one without a name

Tho· this story is mine, our ending·s the same.

Yes, our ending·s the same. Jonah, u·m talking to you now. ut took you, being inside the
belly of a whale, to see that straying from God·s chosen path, was not necessarily a mistake, but
an experience that you had to have in order to make a change. u am the same. The only
difference between you and u, is my whale was my own mind. u was lost inside for years, and it
wasn·t until now that u have broken free of myself and found God·s light. God·s grace has
rained upon me and has cleansed me of my past mistakes. u am forgiven.

The dreams were not meant to show me death, rather introduce me to the joy of
rebirth. u have been reborn into a life of understanding. Understanding that God·s will is not
meant to be questioned, rather embraced.

Önly that which we allow to take place,

Takes place.
We need not suffer nor rejoice,
But rather,

The End